Everything that You Need to Know About Ice Machines
Ice makers are an important accessory, more so during summer. First time buyers of these appliances ought to fully understand the process of installing, operating, and maintaining these appliances. Unlike refrigerators that are only connected to a power source, ice machines may have several connections including water inlets, outlets, and power connection. This means that you have to ensure that your new unit is installed properly. Besides, you must have the ability to detect common problems.
How to Properly Install a Commercial Ice Maker
Proper installation of these appliances is of great significance since it determines their longevity. If your ice maker needs to be fitted to a wall, make sure that you find the best technician for the job. Keep in mind that the quality of installation directly affects the performance of an ice maker. Before you install a new unit, ensure that you inspect the site to ensure that it promotes optimal performance. The site should similarly have all the required utilities. In line with this, ensure that the following four components are fully addressed.
Each ice maker has its distinct power requirements. Before installing a unit, ascertain that you understand its amperage and voltage requirements. Whereas simple wall plug connections may be suitable for small units, the connections might not suit larger ice makers. Other machines, require separate disconnects. Besides the installation technician, it is advisable to consult an electrician to ensure that wiring is properly done. More often than less, large commercial ice machines need their own circuits. This means that you have to ascertain what your appliance requires before proceeding with the installation.
To operate continuously, ice machines need to have access to clean water connection. Experts recommend that you buy an infiltration system alongside an ice machine so that you end up with pristine and safe ice, which improves the quality and taste of your beverages. A water filtration system also helps improve the longevity of an ice machine. Without an inbuilt filtration system, there is likely to be a buildup of sediments, mineral deposits, and scale. This often corrodes the system, thus reducing its lifespan and the quality of ice produced. Always ensure that you use clean water since ice is a food product, which can harm you and your clients in case it is inappropriately handled.
Before installing a new unit at your premises, ensure that there is enough space to accommodate it. The adequacy of space goes a long way in improving the efficiency of an ice maker. Ice makers overheat with continued use, which means that there must be enough room to allow them to “breath”. It is recommended that the machine be well ventilated to pave way for adequate air circulation. This will allow it to cool off, more so when the ambient temperatures are too high. In this regard, understand the specifications and dimensions of the appliance, and the site that you intend to install it.
In as much as the appliances must properly fit beneath counters or between walls, there is great significance in sparing some room. This additional space also comes in handy as far as serviceability and maintenance is concerned. Easy accessibility to all the exterior parts of an appliance will make it easy for you to carry out maintenance practices such as cleaning. Generally, self-contained ice machines that are air cooled require at least 6 inches of clearance space on all sides.
This is one of the most significant components when it comes to commercial ice machine installation. With every production cycle, your machine needs to expel excess water and ice to the bin. This means that both the storage bin and the ice maker require a drain pipe or a floor drain to expel water that did not get frozen during the ice production cycle. This type of water is known as purge water. In most cases, it failed to freeze because it had minerals and impurities. Draining off this water is important since it prevents the impurities from accumulating inside the ice machine.
Modular ice machines and self-contained appliances that have attached ice bins need to regularly expel melted ice from the bins. This prevents ice from overstaying in the system, a condition that often leads to contamination. In case you run an establishment that needs huge quantities of ice, you should endeavor to design a drain pump to expel excess water, which is often in plenty. You should consider buying drain pumps and other related accessories to guarantee timely expulsion of purge water.
Common Problems in Commercial Ice Machines
Being electrical appliances, ice makers experience glitches, which may hinder their optimal performance. Ice machines are often connected to a constant supply of water. In most cases, this water contains a lot of impurities. Therefore, most ice machine problems are closely related to water. The following are some of the commonest ice machine problems.
Low Water Flow
This is common problem, which is often caused by plugged-up water filters, or issues with the water supply. Low water flow to an ice machine usually leads to the formation of smaller and malformed ice cubes. In serious cases, the evaporator may freeze up, thus halting ice production altogether.
Typically, this problem is caused by leaky water inlet valves that make the ice cubes to become oversized. Oversize ice cubes often get stuck inside the evaporator, causing it to freeze in the process. This drastically lowers the performance of an appliance.
Excess Ambient Temperature
The effectiveness of an ice machine depends on the air and water temperature. Higher temperatures lower the rate of ice production. High water temperature may lengthen freezing time. This leads to automatic shutdown of the appliance.
Proper installation of ice machines can help you avoid these problems. You should go through the manufacturer’s manual so that you can easily identify potential problems. Before installing a unit, it is also advisable to seek the services of technicians who will carry out site survey. This lowers the chances of system failure once an ice maker is mounted.